[thelist] :: makeready ::

Barney Carroll barney.carroll at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 02:59:55 CST 2009


Nice work! Very clean, breathy and serene design. It's hard to use a good
minimalist approach and end up with something that doesn't feel in some way
cold, but this manages it. Palette and tone very considered.

Few issues from an information design perspective — which become more
prominent what with the content-focussed graphic design:

   - <em>phasising the 'and' in 'website design and development' is wrong.
   You should be emphasising the two components if anything. Similarly in the
   second paragraph of the about page, 'below are' doesn't convey anything at
   all by itself — in this case I'd extend the emphasis up to the parenthesis.
   This is important because with a layout as clean as this, the eye
   immediately gets drawn to these passages, and is not rewarded for it.

   - The rotational reflection of the heading below the menu is redundant,
   and distracting.

   - The thumbnails expansion feature should go IMO. If the sets were
   semantically distinct (if they were separated by theme, period, function…
   and/or if they had titles), I might feel different, but as it is there's
   nothing that makes me want to see 'set 1' any more than 'set 3' from face
   value so the choice of if and what to expand is a pretty banal one —
   besides, having the nine thumbnails right there for the viewing is exactly
   what you want for the user from the get-go without them having to take any
   extra action(s). I mean, if they expand set 1 but not 2, they're missing
   out. If they don't expand them at all, they're really missing out.

   - Labelling the footnote as 'footnote' *should *be redundant. Seeing as
   you symbolise footnotes in the text with numbered super-scripts, you should
   indicate which of these instances the actual footnote refers to with the
   same number (if there were any more than one the system you're using would
   fail) — I recommend that <a id="standards"><sup>1</sup></a> be put at the
   beginning of the actual footnote (as in print). The mechanic you use of
   linking to the footnote like that is really cool though.

   - The sub-menu layout is a bit jarring. In my experience offsetting text
   from the right in a left-to-right script is very difficult to pull off, but
   I'd definitely keep the parent colour, take the offset down by at least half
   its current distance from the right, and make the text-size smaller.
   Otherwise, in left-to-right reading mode, it isn't immediately apparent that
   'Gustav Klimt', which is a capitalised black heading, is a sub-item of
   'portfolio', a lowercase grey piece of text ~100px further away.

   - The default (minimised) view of the portfolio pieces hides the footer
   menu (which is when you're most likely to make use of it).

On a purely aesthetic note, that nice flares image from the about and
resources pages looks a bit lossy to me — considering it's the single large
decorative image on the site I think you should have it as a high-quality
JPEG to avoid PNG colour-banding and diffusion artefacts. It'd definitely be
worth the extra kbs to look that much better.

Barney Carroll

barney.carroll at gmail.com
07594 506 381

2009/12/22 Matt Warden <mwarden at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM, David Laakso
> <david at chelseacreekstudio.com> wrote:
> > I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions on this site.
> > <http://chelseacreekstudio.com/>
> Disclaimer: I am no designer!
> I have a hard time keeping my eye from being drawn to the big orange
> image with the thick black border. Maybe soften up the colors, remove
> the border, and blend the edges?
> --
> Matt Warden
> Cincinnati, OH, USA
> http://mattwarden.com
> This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.
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